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Old September 24, 2016, 03:07 PM   #1
Pep in CA
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Should you carry your pistol at home?

In the Oct 2016 issue of Shooting Illustrated magazine is an article that advocates that the best place to store your pistol while at home is on your person. In other words, always carry your pistol ... while in the kitchen, the bathroom, or in the back or front yard.

The reasons given are compelling. The author, in studying actual defense encounters in homes, notes the differences when the defender had his weapon stored away or on his person are striking. Also, if you have children in the home, the best way to keep their hands off the gun is to carry it on your person. In a closet or a safe or in a purse are not as safe.

My personal home defense strategy may need to be adjusted. My main defense weapon is my shotgun, which is loaded and on the top shelf of a closet. My pistol too is loaded and is in the same closet.

The primary purpose of my pistol is to enable me to get to my shotgun (my armory where I also store extra ammo), so the advice given makes sense. But I have to say I'm a bit queezy about carrying a loaded pistol around the house. If all I need is 5-10 seconds to reach my shotgun (or pistol), perhaps carrying pepper spray is sufficient. Perhaps not.

What do you think?
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Old September 24, 2016, 03:21 PM   #2
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I carry around the house, yard or most anywhere else. I see no reason not to.

What makes you "queezy" about carrying at home?
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Old September 24, 2016, 03:43 PM   #3
Pep in CA
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What makes me queezy are 3 things: #1 is safety. I'm a new gun owner and not trained to carry, and I take safety very seriously. #2, I sometimes drink at home and guns and booze don't mix. #3, I live in CA and cannot carry in public. I don't want to accidently leave the home carrying and get arrested.

That's why I'm thinking pepper spray, which is what I carry in public.
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Old September 24, 2016, 03:53 PM   #4
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Pep in CA, all three of those are absolutely valid reasons for not carrying around the house. I would suggest having a handgun or two in easily accessed locations in your home. If children are present that makes it a little more difficult, bit not impossible. The problem with pepper spray is that when used inside it is a double-edged weapon that may debilitate you as well as an attacker. I carry a small Fox spray most of the time, or a three ounce when hiking, walking, or jogging, and while walking my attack chihuahua. Good luck.
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Old September 24, 2016, 04:05 PM   #5
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As you get more experienced in the firearms world you'll get more comfortable. I'd recommend carrying in home as your comfortable.

What pistol do you and your carry method? Comfort will always play a factor. I'm curious what your system is.

My daily carry is Walther PPS 9mm (7 or 8 + 1) in a Desantis Softuk at 3:30 or 4 IWB. If I'm at home all day sometimes I'll carry OWB my XD9 or Smith and Wesson model 10.

I think also the size of your house probably plays a part. If you have a small apartment lets say as opposed to an estate house, proximity to your weapon will vary.

All the same, if a break in occurs I want my firearm on me.


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Old September 24, 2016, 04:53 PM   #6
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Old September 24, 2016, 04:58 PM   #7
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I live well out in the country and open carry pretty much all the time when I am outside walking/ working around my property. Sometimes I will have a long gun if I am on/ in a vehicle in case I see a hog or some pest.

Inside I carry only if I am dressed for the day and am going or just come back from somewhere. There is never a gun far away if one is needed.
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Old September 24, 2016, 05:00 PM   #8
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Just part of getting dressed for me.
Same goes for me as well.

My sister & BIL were the victims of a home invasion about 06:30 one morning.

I learned from that.
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Old September 24, 2016, 05:09 PM   #9
chaim
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If all I need is 5-10 seconds to reach my shotgun (or pistol), perhaps carrying pepper spray is sufficient. Perhaps not.
As was already mentioned, pepper spray indoors can be problematic. It can spray back and effect you just as much as your attacker. If you definitely want to use pepper spray in your home, look for the foam or gel type instead of the spray or fog type, though when sprayed indoors you will probably feel the effects and it won't be limited to your attacker.

Quote:
What makes me queezy are 3 things: #1 is safety. I'm a new gun owner and not trained to carry, and I take safety very seriously. #2, I sometimes drink at home and guns and booze don't mix. #3, I live in CA and cannot carry in public. I don't want to accidently leave the home carrying and get arrested.
For #1, get training as soon as possible. Just having a gun, you should have at minimum some basic safety training. Then, if you want to use it for home defense (whether on your person or locked up) you'll also want some personal defense training. With that, you should be pretty safe carrying at home.

For #2, even with training and experience, you need to put your guns away when drinking. At best, even in a home invasion self defense situation you will be in a gray area (you shouldn't be shooting unless your life is in danger, so better judged by 12 than carried by 6 and all, but if you have been drinking you shouldn't handle a gun since your judgement is impaired).

For #3, I understand your concern. I live in MD where it is nearly impossible to get a permit, and it is a very anti-gun environment. I don't really see walking out with it (though I used to worry about it) since you should be aware of the gun at all times. There are a few things you can do to be less likely to accidentally walk out with the gun. Carry IWB (not the more comfortable OWB) and carry a larger gun so you won't forget it is there. Pocket carry and get in the habit of always checking your pockets before you go. If you have a place for your keys at home and take them out of your pocket when you get home, maybe put the gun in that pocket so when you put your keys in your pocket as you leave you'll definitely notice the gun. Put a single gun sized gun safe on a table or mounted to the wall by your door (I've seen one online where the person painted it the color of the wall so it was a little more discrete, I'd probably want to put a table by the door and mount it under the tabletop). It can be a visual reminder to check for a gun and more easily become part of your daily routine (come in, get gun out, leave, put gun away). Finally, if you get in the habit of carrying around the home whenever you are sober, you should also develop the habit to check for the gun before you walk out the door and remove it if you didn't already remember to.
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Old September 24, 2016, 05:35 PM   #10
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It all depends on where you live and what the crime is like; not everywhere has the same issues.
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Old September 24, 2016, 05:57 PM   #11
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I don't carry a gun at home because I fear a home invasion, I carry a gun at home because it's cheap insurance. The likelihood is I will never need a gun (ever really) in my home but I would hate to be stuck in my living room with a thug between me and my gun in my Bedroom.

There are enough compact guns on the market that there's really no reason not to have one for around the house.
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Old September 24, 2016, 06:09 PM   #12
Pep in CA
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Thanks for the advice so far. There are several things for me to consider as I revamp my HD strategy and I appreciate the input from all of you.

To answer some of your questions, my pistol is a Glock 19. My shotgun is a Remington 870 HD model (desigend for home defense). I shoot them once a week at my local range for practice.

My home is a modest 3 bedroom house with a hallway leading to the 3 bedrooms. My armory is at the end of the hallway, where there is at least some cover.

I've had basic training classes but I have not taken any classes for concealed carry or drawing because, as mentioned, I cannot carry here in CA anyway.

I've never used my pepper spray, and it is a spray. I keep one in my car and one in my pants pocket when I leave the house. Since two of you have warned me that pepper spray can affect me too, I think I'll investigate the foam or gel versions. And perhaps I could velcro a cannister of such above every door in my house.

Good discussion and I appreciate the advice. Hope it helps others too.
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Old September 24, 2016, 06:46 PM   #13
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One more thing about pepper spray: Make sure you have a brand that delivers enough of the active agent to be effective in a spray or stream big enough to get it on target. Some give such a small stream they might be good for seasoning a taco, but pretty much worthless in a fight. Buy one to practice with and test.

I don't live in a high crime area, and don't live in fear. It is a quiet, Midwestern county. I do know that some of the most unspeakable crimes have been committed in home invasions. For me a gun, cell phone, pepper spray, folding knife, and flashlight are essential accessories. I may not carry all of them with me around the house, but none of them are far away.
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Old September 24, 2016, 09:28 PM   #14
A pause for the COZ
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Quote:
Should you carry your pistol at home?

Short answer... Yes

I have had more than just a few people show up announced.
Some looking for gas, some a ride, some a phone.
What ever it does not matter.

You dont need to carry top dollar stuff to get the job done.
I have been lugging around my Beretta model 84. Seems to work well. I like the gun allot and its condition fits the job at hand. Size is just right to not get in the way while working around the place. The cheap holster works just as I need it. Keeps it covered up and secure while I am crawling around stuff and with the belt loop attachment I can slide it forward or backwards depending on what I am doing. So I can stay armed about 95% of the time outside. Some times you just need to remove the gun to shinny under a car or some thing.

Why carry at home ya say?
I dont need to worry about snakes here. But I have run into a 4 legged critter once in the barn.
Plus once I looked out from under my truck to see a set of feet wanting a ride to the cities. About 65 mi away. I guess his ride threw him out.
He became upset when I said no.
Well that was until he saw I was a packin. Then he became polite real fast.
He became aware of rule #1 when bumming a ride to the 1/2 way house to see your druggie buddy " Dont P,O, your ride. It might be a long walk home."



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Last edited by A pause for the COZ; September 24, 2016 at 09:46 PM.
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Old September 24, 2016, 10:51 PM   #15
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When my pants go on, my gun does too. No different than my pocket knife or my flashlight. Same routine every day.

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Old September 25, 2016, 01:38 AM   #16
Pep in CA
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Quote:
When my pants go on, my gun does too. No different than my pocket knife or my flashlight. Same routine every day.
There is a discussion about home defense strategy and tactics going on in this thread, but you want to tell us what happens when your pants go on, as if anyone cares.

Sorry folks. This will be the last comment I post in these forums. Information is great, but there is such a thing as too much information.
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Old September 25, 2016, 03:40 AM   #17
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I pack where I please. I don't need no justification as to where.. Or when.. Or how.

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Old September 25, 2016, 08:03 AM   #18
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Like others, I gear up when I get dressed, but here it is, a rainy slow Sunday morning. I may not get dressed until the afternoon. I feel no compulsion to gear up in my skivvies.
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Old September 25, 2016, 08:16 AM   #19
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To each their own.

I don't personally see the need to carry around the house. My primary home defense is the K9. I have a 110 pound German Sheppard that sounds quite mean. I think that anyone will admit, there is nothing quite like the sound of a pissed off German Sheppard.

My secondary home defense is a firearm. Either the shot gun, or the pistol. Much depends on the situation.

I live in what is considered a safe area. There is lots of military (both active and retired) and LEOs in my neighborhood.

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Old September 25, 2016, 09:00 AM   #20
A pause for the COZ
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My primary home defense is the K9. I have a 110 pound German Sheppard
That will do, at least give you a chance to get to a gun. Maybe..
They may just have the dog factored into the plan.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on the view angle.
Wont work at my place. My pup may lick em to death.
Here is what mine does when a unknown person enters my property.

Play????

Meter guy..

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Old September 25, 2016, 09:11 AM   #21
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I'm worried about kids (friends of my grandkids who I don't really know) getting a hold of my guns. The safest place for them in my gun safes.

Home invasions happen at homes.

It takes about 3-5 seconds to kick through a LOCKED door.

I live in a rural area, police response, at best would be 30-45 minutes, depending on what part of the country the sheriff is in at the time he's called.

Old people (which I happen to me) normally have a medicine cabinet full of pills of one sort or other and are prime targets for people who cant afford or find meth.

So yeah, I carry at home. It would take me more then 3-5 seconds to get off the couch and into my safes.

It takes about 1/2 second to get my gun out of my pocket.

Chances are slim to none that a kid could pick my pocket and get my gun without me knowing.

If the gun is in my pocket, I never worry about leaving the house without my gun.

I have 4 mid size dogs who would welcome any person, friend or not, into the house. That is if they woke up at all. My granddaughter and her friend came in about two one night, sneaking in trying not to wake us. I woke up, neither of the dogs did.

More then once, I've stepped off the porch finding a rattler under the steps. Rattlers and grandkids don't play well together. My wife, who also carries killed one about 12 feet from the front door while mowing the lawn.

Living in Wyoming I never fear forgetting to take the gun out of my pocket when I go to town, like some say would be a problem in some states.

I'm probable safer in town where everyone else carries then I am at home.
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Old September 25, 2016, 09:31 AM   #22
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I do always carry a P3AT in my pocket around the house or anywhere else I go. It is discrete and never in the way of anything I am doing.

My normal CCW is a G26 when out and I keep a G17 in my handgun safe that is bolted to my bed frame.

The way I see it is that the .380 would be sufficient in any close encounter I might have and at night when sleeping my G17 is right there when I am most vulnerable and would most likely need a gun. I am not a proponent of hidden guns or unsecured guns laying around the house. I also always have a pretty good size Spyderco (C07) clipped to my waistband.
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Old September 25, 2016, 11:11 AM   #23
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May I point out a strategic problem? Paraphrasing your first post, your pistol and your shotgun are both in the same closet, but your plan is to use your pistol to fight your way to your shotgun. It would seem that your handgun would have no purpose in this plan. That, in a nutshell, is why it would benefit you to keep your handgun more accessible.

You can train and practice, and there are devices to secure your handgun against children more effectively than you seem to do now, and there is no reason that you can't and shouldn't put your pistol in a more secure place before you pick up a drink, and a certain presence of mind needs to be maintained when you are armed that will keep you from leaving the house with the pistol.
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Old September 25, 2016, 11:42 AM   #24
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TailGator beat me. If the primary purpose of your pistol is to get to your shotgun, your pistol should not be kept in the same closet as your shotgun. Your pistol should be kept closer to where you are most of the time and perhaps in your pocket or a holster on your belt.
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Old September 25, 2016, 12:03 PM   #25
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There's a world of difference between security and self defense. My house is secure, and because of where I live, and the physical security measures I've taken, I never carry at home.

Carrying a gun may make you feel secure, but that's not security that's a reactive self-defense measure because your basic level of security is inadequate.

Good home security involves more than alarm systems and more than simply carrying a gun. It involves layered physical security measures as well as security sensors and an alarm system.

At my house - you can't get to a door unless I allow it, or you spend a number of minutes attempting to climb over fences and walls to get to the door. The same goes for windows. You can't get to a window unless I allow you into the inner secure area, or you spend time climbing over physical barriers.

If you don't look like an easy target, you're halfway there as criminals are opportunists, and not really dedicated to working hard - that's one of the reasons they prefer crime over a job.

So, while you're patting yourself on the back for carrying your gun all of the time because it makes you feel secure, you might want to start looking at WHY you're not secure without your gun.

Be proactive instead of reactive. Address security as a total solution and not simply carrying a gun at home all of the time.
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